The dos and don’ts of estate planning  

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | estate planning |

In this age of technology, there are a few different ways that you can create a last will and testament so that your assets are handed down to the people you want to receive them. That includes your property, guardianship, and debts. Without a will, you will not have control over who gets what to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you have passed on.

It is very important to have a will but it is surprising how many people in the United States do not have one. According to statistics, two out of three people in this country do not have a will. There are many different reasons for that. In some cases, the person has the intention of having a will written but just has never gotten around to it. In other cases, the person believes that they really do not have anything to hand down to someone else.

Having no will is a big mistake

No matter how much you have, it is essential to have a will because having your wishes documented means that things will be straightforward and simple after you have passed on and your loved ones need to deal with the assets and the money that is involved with executing your estate.

You can have a simple will or one that is more complex but no matter what, you should have a will that is a legally binding document that outlines what you want it to say. In many cases, a person will have a will drawn up but is not aware that there are certain ways to go about it. You will want to avoid making mistakes that have repercussions afterward.

The following are important things to consider as you are planning your estate.

  • Designate only one executor: There should only be one executor for your estate. It is okay to have alternate executors if the primary executor does not work out for some reason. Having co-executors will potentially cause conflict between (or among) the executors and it is not uncommon that they may disagree on some issues related to your estate. Many times, small conflicts eventually turn into much bigger problems.
  • Your will alone will not necessarily prevent your loved ones from ending up in court: In many cases, the probate process for a person’s estate applies whether the person had a will or not. For example, if you have a will but you have a bank account with no designated beneficiary, there is a good chance that your assets will end up in probate before they are distributed to your heirs.
  • Designate sentimental assets as specifically as possible: If the language in your will is too vague, it will possibly lead to confusion and conflict among your heirs. If the details of your wishes are not stated clearly, there may be problems. Since you are not going to be there to run interference, they will have to work out their disagreements between them. Hopefully they will be able to work everything out but there is no guarantee.

The importance of working with an estate lawyer

When planning your estate, it is important to work with a lawyer who has specific expertise in estate planning. A knowledgeable Illinois estate lawyer can set everything up for you and if your estate is done properly, it should minimize any conflict that may arise. The last thing that you want is for your loved ones to fight over your estate. You want your heirs to enjoy a harmonious relationship with each other and for them to remember you fondly and lovingly.

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